Thursday, September 3, 2015

Mid-Autumn Festival

Mid-Autumn Festival Halal? Haram? 
One of the FAQ among Malaysians..

I do admire Muslim's attitude in being cautious with something that they're unfamiliar with. Therefore I would like to share something about 中秋节 mooncake festival.

I used to be playing tanglung (灯笼)and candles with friends, the most interesting part was we create a bigger candle by heating few candles then pour it into a plastic container, also "cooking" special dishes, daun chili, flowers and stuff.. my family didn't believe in "praying to moon" so no rituals was made. Only certain neighbours was holding joss sticks and praying to Moon, which means every Chinese enjoy the mooncake festival solely for our chinese cultural that inherited for ages.. while rituals is depends on their personal belief.

As long as we concern, Chinese community most appreciate cultural and family trees. Although the princess fly to the moon seems illogical, that's the fairy tale that won Chinese heart during dynasty era. Imagine a world without cinema and entertainment during thousand years ago.. while story telling was all they got.

Often called the Moon Cake Festival, the 15th day of the 8th lunar month is devoted to reunions, paying thanks to the year’s harvest and (for Taoists and some Buddhists) praying for another year of sweet yields. This year the Mid-Autumn Festival falls on Sept. 19.
“It’s a harvest festival. That’s its origin, but it has a good deal more about it,” said Clayton Dube, executive director of USC’s U.S.-China Institute. “That’s one of the striking things about it. The Harvest Moon is of course a bigger moon. You have this wonderful love story that is a part of it ...”
The legend of Chang’e and Houyi has become a product of a game of telephone, but the tale’s core remains consistent.
Eons ago, 10 disobedient suns caused drought and death by all gallivanting in the skies when they were supposed to take turns roaming the heavens. Houyi, a talented archer, shot down nine of the scorching orbs.
People celebrated their beloved hero and came to him to learn martial arts. During this time, Houyi met and married Chang’e, a beautiful, virtuous woman.
The story diverges here, but one of the more popular versions says Houyi went to Kunlun Mountain, where the gods lived, and obtained an immortality pill from Xi Wangmu, the Goddess of the West. He gave it to Chang’e for safekeeping.
While Houyi was away, an evil disciple, Peng Meng, tried to steal the pill. Instead of handing the treasure over, Chang’e swallowed it and immediately floated to the moon.
Houyi spent his days and nights lamenting the loss of his wife. He put an incense table in his yard and put out a spread of Chang’e’s favorite foods, which included moon cakes. People followed suit in camaraderie with their hero and to pray that goddess Chang’e bring them happiness and safety.

That's why Family Name and cultural is what Chinese Muslim most concern of, we have live the spirit over thousand years.. Islam don't wipe out people's cultural unless it involved shirk and rituals. Learn the difference.

So what exactly is mooncake festival? Why make a cake in moon shape? The main purpose of the festival is celebrate 15th August in Chinese Lunar Calendar, according to the ancient Chinese who observe moon's orbit and create the calendar, the Moon above us seems to be most fascinating during this day...therefore we have a leisure activity during night called as 赏月,sipping tea and sitting at outside with family, enjoy the beautiful sight of Moon.

I always bring my daughter and wife to Taiping Lake Garden during festival, hoping that my daughter would understand the essence of Islam instead of community perception.

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